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10
June
2021

Diversity between English and Turkish

English is one of the most used languages in the world.

And we can say it counts as “lingua franca”. There is a concept called “World Englishes” that I encountered in fourth grade in my university, and there are many languages in this concept. I can say that one of them is “Turkish English”. While speaking English, we can sometimes use Turkish words, or the sentence can be inverted or become meaningless because of our mother tongue.

The most important reason for this is that the language relations of our native language are used differently from the English language (we use the verb at the end or mix it). That is why we use our sentence structures differently. Of course, we can say that there are several words as an example. Even if we speak the English language, we are using Turkish words at that time. The reason for this situation may be to make the speech more fluent and to convey the sentence to the other person more conveniently.

Moreover, from a pragmatic point of view, a word of our Turkish language has different meanings and especially because the use of ambiguous words is excessive, to illustrate, we use the word “exactly (aynen)” in the conversations especially on social media when we approve of.

Besides, for example, we cannot see lots of abbreviations in Turkish, these words are more common in English, such as “brb, ttyl, asap, fyi and omg”.

On the other hand, we cannot say that there is no abbreviation in Turkish, as an example; in written language we can use “tşk” instead of “thank you” (teşekkürler) and “öd” instead of not important (önemli değil). Abbreviations seem to be an indispensable feature particularly among young people.

Also, In our country, many people say the same sentence with different structures, even by putting English words in it. We can say stereotyped words. For example:

Okey, seni ararım.” means “Ok, I call you”.

Of course, since this word is a word used in many countries, it is considered natural to be used by everyone.

The language culture of Turkish is actually very different from English because the sentence structures formed vary as I mentioned before. That is why I wanted to give an example of it.

For example:

Subject-Object-VerbBen seni ararım.I call you.
Subject-Verb-ObjectBen ararım seni.I call you.
Object-Subject-VerbSeni ben ararım.I call you.
Object-Verb-Subject Seni ararım ben.I call you.
Verb-Subject-ObjectArarım ben seni.I call you.
Verb-Object-SubjectArarım seni ben.I call you.

Here you can see the above in the chart, I jumbled up the word order a little but still got the same message.

Maybe this has confused you, but in fact, I can say that writing the sentence with the same words in different orders sometimes quite helpful :D. But yes, I know Turkish is actually more difficult to learn, English language learning seems easier for foreigners.

Well, I want to mention about a last thing among the EFL learners. People who learn English as a foreign language tend to make grammatical errors when they speak. One of them is redundant or incorrect use of prepositions seen by most of the people (me) in Turkey. There are many prepositions in the English language, and Turkish EFL learners generally make unnecessary or incorrect usage when generating English sentences.

The main reason why Turkish EFL learners find it very difficult to learn prepositions is because they do not have specific rules in their use. For example, one of the most used prepositions seen by students is to use the word “each other” with “with“.

In fact, the preposition “with” here seems quite redundant. There is no need to use “with” since the meaning of each other will be sufficient on its own. Therefore, Turkish EFL learners generally make grammatical error tendencies about prepositions.

Actually, I talked about the problems and advantages of bilingualism in my previous post. I think a problem is to mix these two up or to think of both as the same when making sentences >.<.

It made me happy to share a piece of our culture with you. I really enjoyed preparing this post and I wanted to write by comparing our mother language Turkish with English language.

To check my other posts, click here.

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52 thoughts on “Diversity between English and Turkish

  1. This is splendid, thank you! It is very well layed out. You are correct: The “I’ll call you” chart did confuse me! 🤣

    As a writer who is honing my skill, I take pride in my published stories here on WordPress. I try to stay away from shortcuts and keep common phrases to a minimum. My aim is to entice and compel my audience with true stories recounted expressively.

    I am interested in learning other languages and Turkish looks daunting. I get tongue-tied in my native English and I speak it daily! 🤣

    My boyfriend speaks English and Spanish, so naturally this is the next language I want to learn. What you mentioned about Turkish is the same for Spanish: some things can get lost in translation and it may be more meaningful to use the original word.

    I have been surrounded by people who speak Arabic, Vietnamese, Spanish, and other languages. I do notice the interchange of English and foreign-to-me words and phrases.

    Nice article, bravo!

    1. Oh thank you for your kind words!
      Haha yes the chart is really confusing but simple at the same time. When you see the changes of the languages from one to another, the meanings of the sentences also change.

      Well, literature has figurative language that is why it will be more appropriate to avoid common phrases or abbreviations.

      Nice goal! Same here, my aim is to learn other languages and I also like spanish language and their accent lol. It is really nice for you to have a close relationship with the culture of Spain.

      Good for you to have people around you who can speak different languages. Yes, English can be seen as a world language to communicate easily, but in fact learning other languages can make people more active. Also, learning different cultures hype me!

      See ya! 💜

  2. Hi, Beyza Hanim:

    Exactly why I found it helpful to learn Turkish when I taught English in Izmir, and now attempt to explain why language learning is so important, to my often reluctant fellow Americans!

    Stay safe, and keep educating us all, please!
    -Shira

    1. Oh hi Shira!

      It is great that you visited Izmir! Yes, language learning is really important for all of us.

      Stay safe too.
      Thank you so much, have a great day! 🙂

          1. I worked and lived in Istanbul for 6 months before that.
            In a few months I plan to start back with my Turkish Tuesdays, reviewing Sihirli Annem (2003), if you are interested?

            Stay safe,

            Shira

          2. Sorry, my “Turkish Tuesdays” posts are a series of blog posts which I used to write, commenting on shows like Sihirli Annem, Hakan: Muhafiz, and Muhtesem Yuzyil, but I have not written in Turkish since I began working on my book. I plan to restart my Turkish blog posts on Tuesdays once I finish my current Work In Progress rough draft, starting with a review of ‘Sihirli Annem’ (the old version, that was on back in 2008, not the new version).
            I no longer have a job in Turkey, and my residence permit is out of date, and I no longer have a passport, so I cannot leave the United States, where I live. If I get a good enough job again, and can manage to save up the money, perhaps one day I will return, InsAllah, but it does not look like that will happen, so I try to teach as much as I can, while I can.
            Thank you, Beyza, for teaching, too.
            Stay safe, and have a good weekend,
            -Shira

          3. Oh I would like to check your blog posts related to them. Yes, I know those series. So, do you want to write them in Turkish? It is really nice! I am interested, hehe.
            I understand, I hope one day you can manage to do it if you really want.
            I want to thank you that you shared your thoughts with me. Thanks a lot!
            Have a great week, Shira! 🙂

          4. Yes, I’ll be writing them in Turkish and in English, hopefully my written Turkish won’t be too horrible!
            🙂
            Have a safe and happy weekend!

  3. I belive Mr. Donatelli, a native Italian speaker, wrote this in the 1990s but am not sure.
    One thing I am sure of is you will enjoy it! 😉

    Upbeat and Downstairs by Daryl C. Donatelli
    How Confusing is the English Language?

    We’ll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes;
    but the plural of ox became oxen not oxes.
    One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
    yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
    You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice;
    yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.
    If the plural of man is always called men,
    why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?
    If I spoke of my foot and show you my feet,
    and I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
    If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
    why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?
    Then one may be that, and three would be those,
    yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
    and the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
    We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
    but though we say mother, we never say methren.
    Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
    but imagine the feminine, she, shis and shim.

    1. I really enjoyed reading it, and had fun! It was nice. I think English language as a whole is really complex! By the way, I looked at the person you mentioned.

      Thank you so much!

      1. English is Persis the second most difficult language to master, ever without getting into idioms. Chinese, of course, is THE most difficult, both in writing and speaking.

          1. Actually, there is, which is why spell checker put this in when I misspelled “perhaps.” It is the homeland of the Achaemenid dynasty of Persian kings, circa 500-400B.C. Wrote a paper once on this, which is why it was in my spell-checker! 😊

          2. Oh I didn’t know about it. 😮
            I will search it! Could you please share your paper with me also, if it is okay for you? Or is it on wordpress that I can find?
            By the way, thanks for the brand-new information 😀

          3. That was a long time ago in college back in 1970s. I referenced it some time later when I was in the computer, but no idea if I even have the paper any more. Likely newer research has better info anyway. ☺️. But very gracious of you to ask for an old man’s musings!

          4. Ohh very long time ago… Of course If I saw your research, it would be better for me actually. But that’s okay hehe.
            I will check it out 🙂
            Thank you 😊

          5. Wikipedia has some info about Persis. Wish this had been around when I did my paper on Daniel, the Hebrew prophet! Had to spend hours in libraries to find what is now available with a couple of computer clicks! 😫

  4. Very interesting..! Would it be possible to share an audio recording of how the pronunciations differ.. would be great to understand!

    1. Oh I checked the post you shared but comment section was closed 🙁

      Well, in our country we also have a same sentence “Don’t Eat My Brains” when a person irritates you. And I liked the post, thank you ☺️

  5. Very interesting! My daughter takes Latin and she was saying that in Latin, just as in your table for Turkish, that you can rearrange the words and say the same thing, it is the context in Latin that would account for any changes. Thanks for sharing this

    1. Oh very nice for your daughter that learning another language! I didn’t know about it was same as Latin, thanks for sharing too! Have a great weekend! ☺️

  6. I really enjoyed this post and you do with Turkish-English what I do in Spanish -English, which we call Spanglish and Arab-English, which I call Arabish. 🙂 I agree with you bilingualism has advantages as well as disadvantages..when we speak 3, sometimes I get lost in translation:) To know another language, makes it really possible, to know another culture:)

    1. Oh, I’m glad you find my blog post fun for you to read. Yea, we say sometimes “turkinglish” lol. Anyway, it is really nice to speak more languages and know other cultures as well. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

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